Welcome to our blog.

This is our new Mother-Son blog. I am Donna, (Mom), and Lucas is my 13 year old 7th grader. We both love to read and decided to create this blog to write about the books we enjoy. Lucas is very interested in science cannot wait to share his insights about the books he's reading and 7th grade.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Like You - book trailer

Just like you by 
Robert Kroupa
illustrated by Hannah E. Harrison
given by publisher for review
reviewed by Mom and Lucas

Just like you is a tale about tolerance. Two friends who are different than everyone else. They are laughed at by an intolerant community.  When push comes to shove and danger is abound, it is the two friends Boris and Harry who come to everyone's rescue.  Boris is a lame spider who only has use of 7 of his legs and Harry is a deaf field mouse.  They live in  Piney Forest.  
The book is told in rhyme form, making it easier to read.
The spectacular pictures are created by Hannah E. Harrison.  
We received a pdf form of this book.  We liked it so much we ordered the actual book for Christmas, one copy for ourselves and several for family members.

Please visit the just like you foundation to learn more about tolerance and acceptance.
 There is a wonderful youtube trailer for the book.

What a wonderful book.  A wonderful story to teach our children.  Tolerance and Acceptance, what could be more beautiful?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Librarian Book One: Little Boy Lost
by Eric Hobbs
received in ebook format from LibraryThings Members Giveaway

Wesley Bates thinks his life pretty much sucks. He's landed at the bottom of his school's popularity ladder, and bully Randy Stanford seems to be waiting around every corner.

The troubled teen thinks he's found a way to escape his real-world problems when he stumbles upon strange doorways in Astoria's local library that seem to lead into the extraordinary worlds from all his favorite books. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland -- they're all a reality with Wesley's new discovery. Wesley teams with best friend Taylor Williams to embark on a great adventure, both ready to leave the drama of middle school behind.

But the two kids quickly find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old battle for the library and the magic hiding within. Now, fighting alongside the eccentric old man who's vowed to protect the building's power, the pair must help ward off an attack by a shadowy group with a strange tie to Wesley's nemesis, forcing Wesley to face the fears he's been dodging... and one of the most terrifying bullies of all time!

The Librarian is a thrilling new series that provides kids an opportunity to experience the world’s most beloved fantasy novels in a brand new way – through the eyes of children just like them. Designed to spark a love of reading in every child, The Librarian serves as a perfect gateway into the classics: The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and many, many more!

Additionally, Librarian author Eric Hobbs has teamed with The Sylvan Learning Center and BookAdventure.com to launch the “Librarian Book Club” in January 2012. Each copy of The Librarian contains an exclusive invitation to join. Open to students in grades K-8, the club will bring kids together from around the globe to compete in a monthly reading contest where they’ll have a chance to win exciting prizes: gift cards, autographed books, new toys, video games, DVDs, iPods…even a brand new Kindle Fire! The prizes will get better each month, and all kids have to do is answer questions about the books they’re currently reading! That’s it! It’s that easy!

Donna's review

What a wonderful, original, well written story! I was enthralled from the beginning. As a lover of reading, and a parent who reads to my child, this was an incredible book. I received it from LibraryThings Member giveaways but I will gladly pay for the next in the series. The author, Eric Hobbs, is masterful at telling a story. The main characters, Wes and Taylor, are easy to relate to and (smiling as I write this) just plain fun! I want to go to this Library!!! Reminded me somewhat of a movie I saw years ago, The Pagemaster, only this book is much better than any movie could be. I highly recommend this book. Eric Hobbs, you kept me entertained, and kept my attention from page one.

Friday, November 25, 2011

to all of our friends and followers:
Google will soon no longer use GFC, we
have decided to use Facebook instead for our followers.  You can find us at this page  it is a family friendly page where we post information about our reviews. Thank you

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Say Cheese, Medusa
by Kate McMullan
Published by Capstone
Publication date Aug 1,2011

reviewed by Lucas and Donna

(from Goodreads)

What a myth-o-maniac (that's old Greek-speak for "liar")! Zeus's version of the myths is completely wrong. It's time to set the record straight. For the first time ever, Hades, King of the Underworld, reveals the true story behind the myths.
That story about Perseus whacking the head off of the horrible snaky-haired Gorgon, Medusa? Oh, please. He got turned into a hunk of stinky cheese — gorgon-zola, of course!


I laughed and laughed throughout this book!  Greek myths told as they really happened from the viewpoint of Hades himself.  He corrects the misconceptions we all believe to be true because we heard the stories from his myth o maniac brother Zeus (the big fat liar).
Having a 10 year old son who is enthralled by Greek Mythology, we requested this book from NetGalley.  My son laughed all through the story.  "Hades is really a good guy after all, he tries to save Medusa."
We will be purchasing all the books in this series (this is number three).  Excellent story Ms. McMullan.  You made education fun.  I remember studying the old mythology books in school thinking "there must be some way to make these dry old stories fun".  You have found the way, you have the golden touch.   Love the stories!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
by Rick Riordan

book report by Lucas

I decided to use Mr. Riordan's book for my latest book report.  I loved this book.  I love the entire series.  Rather than write a review, I've decided to just write out the report the way my English teacher wanted it done.  We did this project as a 'book cube'. Each side of the cube had a different piece of information.

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
by Rick Riordan
Illustrator John Rocco
report by Lucas

Side 1
Main Setting
San Francisco/ Mt. Tam

Main Character
Percy Jackson
In this book, Percy Jackson is a kind and brave demigod. A demigod is the son or daughter of a human and a god.  He has jet black hair, like his father Poseidon, and has deep green eyes.  Since his father is the god of the Seas, he can control water.  His fatal flaw is that he'll risk anything for his friends.

The conflict of the story is that Annabeth (friend of Percy's and daughter of Athena) is captured by the furry beastly Manticore, and the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis is also captured.  Percy must rescue them both from a possibly dire ending. (If you know what I mean)

Percy, his friends Grover, Zoe and Thalia (daughter of Zeus) climb to the peak the green Mt. Tamalpais and fight Atlas.  Yes, Atlas- remember him from your mythology classes in school?  He's the titan that has to hold the Earth on his shoulders.  I'll bet all us people are quite heavy, even for a titan.  Atlas is the main general of the titan army.  He is also Zoe's dad.  Percy and his friends free Annabeth and Artemis from the  celestial bronze chains (they must be made of celestial bronze to be able to hold a god/demigod captive).  Atlas had tricked Artemis into holding up the world.  Percy tricks Atlas into taking the world from Artemis.  Titans may be big, but they are not too smart.  Atlas kills his daughter Zoe in battle.  Artemis realizes the sacrifice Zoe made by fighting her father and she creates a constellation in the sky in honor of Zoe

Side 4
My Recommendation
I think this is an amazing book.  It is quite suspenseful and interesting.  I learned a lot about ancient Greek Mythology.  I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.  I think you should read the books in the order they were written to understand the whole story.

This book wins a 5+ Ice Cream Cone rating!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kali and the Geekettes
by Ellie Greene
available now
received from LibraryThing Early Reviewers for review
reviewed by Donna

synopsis from Amazon.com
Kali's not your typical fifteen-year-old girl. She cares more about astrophysics than the latest fashions, and her friends Roxanne and Phillippa are just as geeky. After Kali's breakup with the cute, funny, artistic Mark Wallace, she and her friends decide none of their hearts will ever be broken again. The Plan? Become larger than life instead of trying to blend in. When Kali gets the chance to date Aiden, one of the most popular guys in school, she thinks she doesn't need any stupid Plan to get her life together. Dating Aiden will solve all her problems. The only catch is that to make it work, she'll have to turn her back on the other two geekettes.

Being a geek myself, I was enchanted by the title of this book. I was not disappointed. This is a spectacular story about friendship and peer pressure. Ellie Greene has captured the high school hierarchy to a T. I loved the wonderful characters she created with this book. We all know or have known the A listers like Aiden and Shari. I was so very happy to see the geekettes come into their own. I LOVED the ending of this book. I don't want to spoil it for other readers, but I love it when the good Karma hits the right people. The book started out a little slowly, but once I got into the story, I couldn't stop until I finished! 5 stars for Ms. Greene and her awesome story.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ok, I know this is a book blog, but every now and then something comes around that I have to mention.
The new ABC tv show ONCE UPON A TIME.

If you like fractured fairy tales you have to watch this show.  It is on Sunday nights on ABC at 8pm.  Lucas and I don't miss it-I know, only three episodes available, but we haven't missed one!  If you do miss an episode and have video on demand, the episodes are available.  They are also on ABC tv webpage.

Synopsis provided by Wikipedia
On the wedding day of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas), the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) arrives and delivers an ominous threat about a powerful curse she intends to release upon them. Some time later, a pregnant Snow White is worried about the curse and visits Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) who issues a prophecy that the Queen's curse will take them all someplace terrible where there will be no happy endings. He also reveals that Snow White's unborn daughter, Emma, will return when she is 28 years old to rescue them, thus beginning the final battle with the Queen. On advice from the Blue Fairy, Geppetto (Tony Amendola) and Pinocchio fashion a wardrobe from a magical tree which will allow one person to escape the Queen's curse. Prince Charming intends for Snow White and their unborn daughter to use the magic tree to escape the curse, but Snow White goes into labor and gives birth to Emma just as the wardrobe is about to be completed. On the day Snow White gives birth to her daughter, the Queen's curse strikes. Prince Charming places their daughter in the magic wardrobe, but is grievously wounded battling the Queen's henchmen. The Queen stands triumphantly over Snow White and Prince Charming as the curse takes them to "someplace horrible."
In present day Boston, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) lives a lonely existence working as a bail bondsman and bounty hunter. On her 28th birthday, Emma is approached by a ten year old boy who identifies himself as her son, Henry, whom Emma had given up for adoption as a baby. Not wanting a relationship with him, Emma agrees to drive him back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine. Along the way, Henry shows her a large book of fairy tales, insisting that all of the stories in it are real. When they arrive in Storybrooke, Henry informs her that everyone in town is in reality a fairy tale character, exiled by the curse and with no memory of their real identities. This includes his therapist, who is really Jiminy Cricket, and his teacher Mary Margaret Blanchard, who is really Snow White. He claims that time is frozen in Storybrooke and the people are unable to leave, but that the curse will be broken by Emma. A skeptical Emma returns Henry to his adopted mother, the town's mayor who is really the Evil Queen. When Henry soon runs away again, Emma finds him and decides to stay in Storybrooke temporarily. This decision causes the hands of the town clock, previously frozen, to begin moving again.

I recommend this TV show for both parents and children.  At a time when there in not much worth watching on TV, this show is a surprising winner.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kevin's Point of View
by Del Shannon

Book Description (from Amazon.com)

Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected. Del Shannon's imaginative story, appreciation for the powers of family and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it, and fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style make this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

My review:

A wonderful and fast paced book. Aimed for a middle grader target audience. This book was a rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns. The end (which I will not reveal) was unexpected. I think most 10-14 year old boys will relate to Kevin. I just love his imagination! 
I recommend this book for all kids that like sci-fi, humor and wild crazy adventures. 
I want to thank Del Shannon for allowing me to read and review this book. Please, let there be more adventures for Kevin!!!

Hades, Lord of the Dead
The Olympians
by George O'Connor

Published by First Second
publication date 1/31/12
received from NetGalley for review

What a great idea!  Graphic novels about Greek mythology.  I was unaware of this series until I saw the Hades book on NetGalley.  I read this book with my son (age 10) in less than an hour.  Due to the current climate of mythology in children's books, he has become fascinated with the Greek Pantheon.  This is a wonderful, action packed, retelling of the classic Hades-Persephone-Demeter myth.  Unlike the books I has to read in school, this book is far from boring.  It is fast paced, has wonderful pictures, and is a great retelling of the myth.  There is nothing objectionable in this book, Hades looks like the Lord of the Underworld but does not look frightening, nor is he mean or evil towards Persephone.  My son's response when we finished, "Mom, can we get the other books?  You know I love this stuff."  I highly recommend this book, as well as others in the series, for anyone who enjoys mythology.  It is a wonderfully exciting way for children to learn about the stories of the the ancients.

Ode to Icky
by Maranda Russell
available now

review by Donna and Lucas

(Lucas laughed throughout the entire book)

A cute and imaginative tale by the very talented Ms. Maranda Russell.  The story is about a young girl, named Candy, with a very lazy smelly cat, named Icky.  Candy has an imaginative money making scheme and uses Icky's awful smelling fur to create a 'super French perfume.  Ode De Iche". Unfortunately, to bottle this stuff she empties out her mothers bottles of REAL French perfume.  Well, in addition to the entire female population of the school smelling like Icky, Candy has to face her mother with the truth of her actions.  Imagine having an expensive bottle of perfume from France, imagine having your kid empty it out and use the bottle.  What would you do?  This is a story about leaning a lesson.  A great story for parents to read to their children.  The kids will learn, but laugh while learning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Magic Elizabeth by 
Norma Kassirer

The other side of the mirror...
It looks like it's going to be a bad summer for Sally: She's got to stay with her creepy Aunt Sarah while her parents are away. Trapped in a spooky old house and stalked by an unfriendly cat, Sally begins to explore. She sneaks upstairs and discovers the attic, where she finds herself drawn toward an old mirror. When she looks into it something magical happens...
Sally finds herself in the past on the other side of the mirror where another little girl--also names Sally--has lot a beloved doll, Elizabeth. Sally searches and searches, but the doll seems to have vanished. Can the two help each other across time?

This is the book that did it for me.  I was in the second grade.  Came home from school with one of those Scholastic Book Club order forms.  My mom said "Donna, pick a book. You need to read more."  I chose this book.  I was hooked. To this day I still have a copy of this book.  When I feel nostalgic, I re-read the story.  It brings back wonderful memories of my childhood.

Moon Coin
Gibbering Gnome Press, a division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok
published August 25, 2011
review by Donna

OH MY GOSH!  What an amazing book!  The worlds' (moons) of the Moon Realm come to life for us!  At first I was a little confused by all the names, but shortly after arriving in Barreth, the names were like second nature to me.  The illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio were just amazing.  I read the book on my Kindle, but soon switched to the Kindle app on my Ipad to see the illustrations in color.  They truly add to Mr. Due's wonderful story, or is it a tale?
This is one book that will surely be made into a movie sometime in the future, much like the Harry Potter or Narnia series.  I loved the characters of Lilly and Jasper, both genders were represented and I think both boys and girls will love this story.  I anxiously await the second in the series.  I could not put this book down!  It is sure to become a favorite of children and parents alike!!